Report: UFC 197 to hit Las Vegas on March 5 with Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos, Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Conor McGregor (Photo credit Gary A. Vasquez © USA Today)

The UFC’s initial plan to run in Brazil on March 5 for UFC 197 may instead make way for a massive event in Las Vegas, as Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter reports that the organization is expected to announce Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos and Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate for the event.

The McGregor-dos Anjos fight would be for dos Anjos’ UFC Lightweight Championship, with McGregor hoping to become a dual champion in the organization. It’s a role he relished in the Cage Warriors Fighting Championships organization prior to entering the UFC, and after capturing the Featherweight Title at UFC 194 he made clear it was a goal of his in the UFC. Dos Anjos will look to prove himself superior after the first round demolition of Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 17.

As for Holm vs. Tate, it was the expected matchup with the UFC acquiescing to Holm’s desire to fight before Ronda Rousey was able to return. A victory for Holm keeps that big money rematch in play, while Tate gets the title fight that was taken from her and given to Holm last fall.

The fights have not yet been officially announced, but if the report is sound it makes for a fourth straight pay-per-view event for the UFC in their home base of Las Vegas, following UFC 194, UFC 195, and next month’s UFC 196 event.

Penick’s Analysis: If this is the top two for this card it does not matter one bit what else is added. If McGregor manages to do what he’s said he would do and beats dos Anjos, he’ll set up a massive title defense of one of those belts for UFC 200 in July. That has to be the plan. For Holm, if she beats Tate, she could still defend that title at UFC 200 herself, though it’s getting murkier as to whether or not Ronda Rousey will be ready by then. Regardless, this makes for an absolutely massive March event, probably the UFC’s biggest ever in the history of that month of the year, and puts things in motion to bring both of those champions to what may be the biggest event in company history this July.

[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]

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11 Comments on Report: UFC 197 to hit Las Vegas on March 5 with Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos, Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate

  1. Conor hasn’t done anything to earn a title shot at 155. He hasn’t even defended his newly-won title at 145, yet.

    This is all WWE esque marketing, as contender rankings are once again thrown out the window in order to give a popular fighter a “push”.

  2. You aint a real champ until you defend your belt! McGregor got lucky Aldo didn’t throw that right! watch “13 second fluke” video

    • He needs to have at least have 3 impressive title defenses at 145 before there should be talk of having him go up in weight for a superfight.

      Aldo got caught. It was an impressive victory for Conor — but that doesn’t mean he should suddenly get a title fight in a higher weight class because of one punch. That’s just UFC going the WWE route in pushing a popular fighter at the expense of fighter rankings.

      Should Weidman have had an immediate title shot at 205 for TKO’ing Silva in their first fight? Same logic.

  3. Hasn’t done anything? You mean other than make people care about the sport and spend money on it? Backed up everything he’s said? Knocked out the best featherweight off all time in 13 seconds? We have different definitions of anything.

    • As I’ve replied to Rich Hansen, tell me what he’s done in the UFC lightweight division to warrant giving him a title shot.

      Yes: What he did in the FEATHERWEIGHT division was impressive, much like how RDA’s last title defense against Cerrone was impressive. Does that mean RDA gets an immediate title shot at welterweight? Same logic.

      • I’m not sure what sport you’ve been watching. He did more at FW to get LW shot than Edgar did at LW to get a FW shot. This sport is about putting butts in the seats and $ in the pockets. If you want to argue fight merits at LW, sure, he hasn’t done anything. IF you want to argue about fights people care about, this is the one to make. I wouldn’t complain if Jon Jones moved up to HW and got an immediate shot, just like I wouldn’t have if Spider Silva had gotten a LW shot when he was on his 185 run.

        McGregor has made himself relevant, that’s what he’s done. Argue merits all you want, but your thinking in the UFC would just lose money, and then we’d have nothing to watch after a while anyway.

        • “If you want to argue fight merits at LW, sure, he hasn’t done anything.”

          Thanks for agreeing with me. Conor hasn’t done anything in the UFC lightweight division to warrant giving him a title shot. So nowadays, UFC operates more on a WWE-like business plan of “pushing” fighters who are popular, as opposed to operating on official rankings.

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